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New Year Me-Wow Honours for the dedicated Erdington cat shop volunteers ...

30 December 2017
New Year Me-Wow Honours for the dedicated Erdington cat shop volunteers ...

It’s ‘Arise Purr Brian’ as the first-ever Cats Protection shop awards ceremony - or New Year Honours - is unveiled to recognise the contribution that volunteers have made over the past twelve months.

“And every individual volunteer has shone in different ways and brought unique skills to the role” confirms manager Anita Byers. “Brian Tooley won in the entertainment category – he is always singing and so cheerful; Margaret Dillon creates brilliant window displays, while bright and bubbly Lesley Strickley has been chosen as ‘best personal shopper’.

Lesley (pictured lower right with Margaret and Brian) says this is for ‘helping customers put outfits together and making suggestions – polite ones, of course! – about what will suit them for whatever the occasion may be.'

Pictured top row are Sue Morgan (Instant Morale Booster), Sylvia Davey (Purr-fect Polisher), Angela Martin (Best Bric-a-brac) with managers/award designers Gabriela and Anita displaying their Christmas best-sellers - mugs and diaries

'Best Personal Shopper' Lesley adds: "I love volunteering. I'm early retired from BT and love this 'second career' knowing the sales we make in the shop are helping needy cats and kittens - food and vet bills - throughout North Birmingham. We're all so grateful to the generous cat-loving public. They keep the donations rolling in. And it’s good to volunteer for such considerate management – to come up with the awards idea - as well as such a good cause."

Manager Anita and Assistant Manager Gabriela ‘put their heads together’ to come up with a personalised ‘thank you award’ for every volunteer. These range from ‘Instant Morale Booster’  for new shop recruit but long-time branch fund-raising volunteer Sue Morgan – formerly known as the Can-Shake Queen - to ‘Most Lottery Ticket Sales’  for Mary Docherty, who has been a stalwart volunteer at the shop since Day One.

Dozens of awards were presented in the run-up to Christmas and New Year – and every volunteer was surprised, delighted and justifiably proud.

Adds Anita: “I designed the awards layout on Photoshop, and the cat photos are my own cat Poppy and Gabriela’s cat Holly. We think we’re the first Cats Protection charity shop in the country to do this, and believe it’s the purr-fect way to show our appreciation – especially as the shop is doing so well. Christmas sales of cat-themed calendars, diaries and mugs have got us all purring!  But we could still do with more volunteers, so come along and see us. Who knows what your USP will be? Whatever it is, it will be celebrated in style next year with a unique award!”

** Call in at the Cats Protection shop on the High Street, Erdington, and speak to Anita or Gabriela if you would like to volunteer.